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Breakthrough Case Study
Ellipsis Technologies develops and maintains a revolutionary, proprietary web security technology that invisibly verifies human site visitors while protecting against harmful bots. A couple of years ago, however, this ground-breaking technology wasn’t available to online merchants and website developers.
Bill West, Principal of The Atlantic Partners, serial entrepreneur/turnaround specialist during the telecom boom and partner/investor in multiple technology ventures worldwide, approached the Kopis team with a one-of-a-kind challenge. Bill hadn’t founded Ellipsis Technologies yet, but he had discovered a company in Atlanta with an interesting idea, and the beginnings of an interesting technology.
“I thought they had a good technology on their hands, but I wasn’t 100% certain,” said Bill. “The company’s funding had run out, and they were looking to sell. I wanted to consult with Kopis and get an expert opinion before putting time and money into acquiring the company. Could this be something? Could we take it further?”
The Kopis team was excited by the prospect of getting involved with something this big at the ground-level and, potentially, helping to take the product to launch. We came on board the project as corporate technology consultants.
“Originally, I hired Kopis to give me their professional opinion, to help me evaluate the product and strategize with me on whether I should acquire the product,” said Bill. “Andy (Kurtz, Kopis CEO) joined me in Atlanta for the meeting, and his insights were so transformative, the project grew from there.”
After the initial evaluation, Kopis determined that the technology had great potential but still needed significant work before it was ready to go to market. We advised Bill West and his team that they would be more successful raising money, and have a more successful launch, if they fine-tuned the technology first.
“I bought the technology and hired Kopis to modify it and build on it,” Bill said. “We spent a year rebuilding the product, meeting and working together constantly during that time. Everyone knows that CAPTCHA-style verification tests are annoying, and the alternatives that have come out recently are even more annoying. But for online businesses, they’re more than annoying. They’re costly. Potential customers leave your site rather than select every road sign. We set out to change all that, and to change the way users interact with websites.”
Over the course of the year, a team of Kopis developers created a technology that invisibly detects human presence on the web using machine learning algorithms to track the timing and movement of data touches and swipes, securely storing this information in the cloud, including a quick and easy installation process.
“This was an incredibly complex assignment, though the concept is simple,” said Bill. “We wanted a technology that focuses on identifying humans rather than catching bots—that lets people on a website without frisking them. The Kopis team ramped up fast, showed us how machine learning technology can help solve difficult problems, and built something terrific that surpassed our original design. Andy’s consulting gave me the confidence I needed to pursue this path, while Kelly Summerlin and the rest of the developers were total rock stars.”
Ellipsis Technologies was able to raise the money they needed to get to market and has successfully launched with a solid technology. Their product launched as a plugin for WordPress and Shopify, and, so far, is used by 4 million sites worldwide. The Ellipsis team and Kopis are now looking toward the next iteration of their product and their business plan.
“Kopis was able to help us raise our money and get us to launch with a fantastic enter-the-market product that exceeded all of our expectations,” Bill said. “This year, we’re moving onto the next phase, where we plan to focus on upgrading the technology to include safeguards against bypassing web browsers. We are also looking into more lucrative distribution channels—currently, all of our clients are enterprise or e-commerce, but the bigger network is web hosting services.”
The Kopis team is thrilled that we were brought in for this unique, groundbreaking product launch, and we look forward to continuing our work and seeing where the technology goes next.
“Kopis was integral to our success from day one,” said Bill. “There’s not a single part of the process that doesn’t have the Kopis stamp on it. They even helped us come up with the name for our company. We had no name in the beginning, but as we communicated back and forth by email, we noticed everyone used the ellipsis. It became a joke between us, and then we realized it’s a distinctly human punctuation. Something a bot would never do. The ellipsis depicts an open-ended conversation, or an ongoing relationship. And that’s what we have with Kopis…an ongoing conversation about how to make the Internet better for humans.”